Sunday, March 28, 2010

the good and not so good from Sunday 16

The good and not so good from today:

good: Meeting friends and their little girl for brunch at a new-to-us restaurant; always a nice way to start a Sunday.
Bonus - they had gift certificates they graciously shared with us!
not so good: Having to wait until after 2pm to start 16 miles because I was too full from brunch

good: I got to try out some new running capris and runderwear (running underwear). The capris did well on their first long run.
not so good: major wedgie from said new runderwear :( This is a disappointment because I loved this brand previously.

good: When I woke up to check the weather the morning showers that were originally called for all week were now supposed to arrive mid-afternoon. Instead the skies cleared and the temperature wasn't completely freezing!
not so good: say it with me now. You know it's coming... WIND! 8 miles worth.

good: I ran 16 miles! This distance it a tough one for me mentally every training cycle and I'm always excited when I get through one.
not so good: my left toe blister returned with a vengeance despite my best efforts at prevention and there's now a right quad "twinge".

good: I met some nice runners on the way! I love nice runners!

good: There may have been minor inconveniences on today's 16 but I was able to break it up in manageable pieces that seemed to go by quickly. And on the last 4 miles my shuffle hit the song lottery. It's what I needed to finish strong.

This was to be my recovery week but I'm not feeling very recovered. I know it's because I had to fit too many miles at the end of the week back to back (x 2). Maybe this week I'll be better with spreading the miles out and having time for some actual cross-training. Here's hoping there's no crazy last minute trips (and I didn't just jinx myself by writing that).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the wind wins again!

Wind = 98697654 Me = 0

So my idea of running my tempo run today outside in up to 40 mph wind gusts... not my best ever. The plan was to warm-up 1 mile then do 3 miles at tempo with the wind at my back leaving 1 mile at tempo and 3 easy miles into the wind. (Side note: Is it cheating or just smart to do your tempo miles with the aid of the wind?) It was a great plan in my head (and that is where it should have stayed). I knew it was going to be difficult on the way back but I figured I could handle it since I have battled the wind on my last 5 or so runs. Plus, I couldn't bring myself to hitting the treadmill today. The wind was so ridiculously strong today that it literally stopped me in my tracks. I ended up doing a run/walk mix on the last 3 miles not because I was tired but because I could no longer fight it.

Do you think I can count this as both a cardio and strength training? Now that I'm done I feel like I partook in one of those strong man competitions.
On a completely unrelated note I'm thinking of starting a picture of the week and/or things I'm loving right now post. What do you think? Any interest? It's not necessarily running related but I thought it might help break up my constant posts about the wind and my travel schedule.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Rolling in style in Oklahoma City. My life, oh so glamorous (flossy, flossy)!

Monday, March 22, 2010

windy 17

Although Chicago is not named the "windy city" because of the weather I have no doubt that had those particular politicians not been around Chicago still would have ended up with the nickname. I absolutely, freaking hate the wind and these past few days of running have been horribly windy. Living and running by the lake definitely doesn't help!

I ended up moving my long run of 17 miles to Monday afternoon. I had planned on running long Sunday afternoon after my sister and brother-in-law left but I scratched that (and felt incredibly guilty about it for some weird reason). I was tired from the weekend and my motivation was severely lacking so I opted for a 5 mile easy run instead. I dragged ass but was grateful once I returned home. The weather was supposed to be slightly warmer (upper 40's not upper 30's and snow!) but silly me didn't check about the wind. Where I live there was really no way for me to start into the wind so on my out and back course most days I end up in the wind. It's usually not as bad as it has been these last few runs. BUT... After how I felt tonight, even with the ridiculous wind stopping me in my tracks for the return 8.5 miles, I want to move all my long runs to Monday! I don't know what it was but this long run may have been one of my best feeling 17 miles ever!!! My time wasn't anything to write home about but I felt so strong and this run really helped my confidence. Lately I have been feeling frustrated and defeated. It has been tough to find my "mojo" for lack of a better word. Not sure if it's back but I think I may be on my way.

This week is going to be another tough week for fitting the remainder of my scheduled runs in between travel days. I have 2 back-to-back day trips - Phoenix and Oklahoma, City. Yeah, day trip to Phoenix. I only hope I can sleep since I'll be spending more time in the air than I will in my house! In addition, moving my long run to Monday kind of screwed the week up. This week should be a recovery week anyways so I may just cut it back a bit more than originally planned.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

one of those

Tonight was one of those runs. The kind of run where you so want everything to fall into place, to find a zone, and just run. I had a full night of real sleep, a beautiful, sunny day that I was actually home to enjoy, and 11 miles on the schedule. I should have been primed and ready to go! Instead, the moment I stepped outside I felt off. I was still full from a really good, but not so good for me, lunch. I dressed too warmly. My legs were heavy and clumsy. At the end of my first mile I thought I still only needed to warm up some more. I thought my legs were being difficult because they weren't used to nearly perfect running weather or taking their time to get with the flow. Mid-way through my 2nd mile I realized today was not my day no matter how badly I wanted it to be. I made the decision to go to 3 and turn around. I was practically running at my recovery run pace anyways so today became a 6 mile recovery run. I was recovering from traveling too much :) Too many early mornings and not taking care of myself caught up to me today!

Friday may not be as nice as today but I'm going for that 11. I'm hoping my yummy (and healthy!) dinner, stretching, epsom salt bath, and early bedtime prove to be the winning combo for a successful run!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

what day is it?

And it's been another week... Days are not long enough right now and work is nuts! Since last Tuesday I have been in Birmingham, Atlanta, Little Rock, Chicago, and St. Louis and there is no end in site. I still need to schedule and find time for Cleveland, Rockport, ME, Phoenix, AZ, somewhere in Maryland, and a couple other places they haven't told me about yet... I am barely keeping my head above water right now.

On a late note - Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! Overall a good 31st last Monday. I caught a nasty head cold that progressively got worse throughout the day but enough drugs took care of that mess. Dinner at Table 52 was fabulous. Who knew fried chicken, short ribs, and 3 cheese macaroni could be so delicious and well presented! And dessert, oh the dessert. A banana and pineapple 3 layer cake with cream cheese frosting... This AMAZING-NESS bumped my current #1 dessert and I can't stop thinking about the brilliance of that piece of cake :) Words cannot do it justice so I'm not going to even try.

It seems the busier I get the better I get at making time to run. It's my "me time" so I hold onto that desperately when everything else seems to be spinning out of control. I didn't quite hit the mileage I had hoped for last week (upper 40's) but I only cut out 4 miles so I feel good about the week. Especially with all the travel. I pushed my long run off to last Sunday and thankfully I did. It was the difference between cold and rainy or cool and sunny. It worked out in my favor this time around! The first 8 miles were quite enjoyable and I was hitting my targeted pace. The last 8 miles were one big swear word. The wind was like no other! No wonder the first 8 were so awesome :) I still managed a decent time for 16 miles despite the wind.

This week is proving slightly more difficult to find time to run. I have two day trips this week which means mornings starting at 4 am and not returning until 6pm or later and family coming to visit this weekend. That means I need to also find time to clean, clean, clean. Plus, it is tough to rationalize going for mid to long runs when family visits. I only see so much of them! So while I may have to cut some of the distances a bit I am confident I'll have another week of mileage in the 40's. It just may take being a little creative to get that done ;)

Now off to finish this ridiculously long work report so I can fit in those 10 miles...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!

I love birthdays and I shamelessly plug mine every year. Personally I think there is no such thing as a "day" celebration; they are called birthweeks around here :) The celebrating of the big 3-1 kicked off this past weekend with dinner at a contemporary pizzeria downtown with my friend Jami and her husband. I love trying new restaurants and even more so when they turn out to be fantastic. It was a delicious dinner with friends I don't get to see often enough. Afterwards, we headed out for some drinks and met up with some more friends. Overall a good night that left me hurting Sunday. I can't recover like a champ anymore :(

Today I woke up to several birthday texts and messages and instantly wishing I had called the day off from work :) Then I opened my presents sent from my family and found two of these little blue boxes from my sister and dad!!!
My sister also sent this super cute card...

It's me at 4th birthday party at mickey D's! She made it on Shutterfly and put another pic of us from New Years on the inside. Too cute!

Tonight the hubs and I have reservations at Table 52. Oprah's chef, Art Smith, started a restaurant for everyone to enjoy his southern cooking. I've heard amazing things and am so excited. I love to eat!

So despite this head cold and having to work I'd say it's another successful birthday. And it's not even over yet!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mardi Gras Half-Mary

So, ummm, hi everyone! It's been awhile... I have no excuse other than I really had nothing going on to write about. Talking about my lackluster training, nutso travel schedule, and the cold weather gets a bit tiresome so I took a break. Anyways, I hope with spring around the corner and the fact I keep signing up for races I will be more motivated to blog (and comment on all your wonderful blogs)! Speaking of races I just got back from one...

This past weekend I pretended to be runner and participated in the New Orleans Mardi Gras half marathon. Going into this race I was looking forward to having fun and finally running a race with my high school best friend and her husband. My heart wasn't into running these past couple months and I was a busy traveler who didn't make the time. Overall, I did everything you aren't supposed to do when getting ready to run 13.1 miles!

We arrived on Friday to cool weather, checked-in to our crazy busy hotel, and headed out to Bourbon Street. You know, the street you should definitely go to 2 days before any race :) We found a great place for dinner and then proceeded to visit different bars to stay out of the rain. Our plan backfired as the later it became the harder the rain fell. We ended up back in our hotel drenched.

Saturday our friends met us at our hotel and we headed over to the expo. They had already been the day before but were nice enough to show me the way Saturday. As I picked up my race number and headed to the area for my t-shirt and packet the volunteer states loudly "Half runners to the left, REAL runners to the right". People got pissed about that comment! And he said it repeatedly. Thank you for volunteering sir but maybe stick with full and half from here on out.

At the expo I proceeded to spend some serious money and sign up for another RnR half marathon here in Chicago. I saved $10 and got another free shirt!

After the expo we proceeded to walk to much and have a pre-race "energy drink"

A pre-race hurricane in New Orleans is a a must! We were good and only had 1. After fueling, we went our separate ways then later the hubs and I headed over to Algiers Point because my friend's Aunt was making pre-race dinner.

Race morning came around too early as it always does... 7am start and I had 3/4 of a mile walk to the start line. We arrived with plenty of time and I found my friend and her Aunt.
My friend's speedy husband didn't stick around for photos he had to go line up behind the elites in corral 1 super early. I think he was hoping a little elite-ness would brush off on him ;) After the pic we found our own corrals and waited...

It was a beautiful day for the race, cool but sunny! And it was so nice to see the sun! At this point I'm not going to give you a play by play on how the race went at each mile. I started great, a little too great, and faded quickly. The uneven roads hurt my ankles and feet like I have never hurt before. By mile 10 I didn't think I had anything left in me. I was cursing myself for not training enough and going out too fast. I really wasn't sure I was going to cross the finish line or if I did I thought for sure I would be walking across it. But somewhere I found something in me to keep going and I crossed it running with a chip time of 1:59:37. A new personal worst, yet still under 2 hours!

After crossing I easily found my friend's husband and my hubs and we proceeded to hang out and wait for my friend and her aunt.

so happy to be done!

After the race we found some food, some beer, and hung around watching Sister Hazel and Cowboy Mouth. While the race was good the post-race was awesome. I was every post race could be so fun!

best post-race food EVER!

Then we finally decided to make the hike to the buses back to the hotel to clean up. That afternoon I had the most amazing po'boy sandwich at Mother's and then we finished up our trip in New Orleans with some more post-race "energy drinks" :) Maybe a few too many because I was hurting the next morning! I may be returning for this race every year. Just next time with a little more training under my belt!